On August 4th, 2020 GAOA was enacted into law! This measure provides full, permanent dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and a $5.9B investment over 5 years to address the maintenance backlog on public lands.
This historic moment marks one of the biggest conservation victories to occur in five decades!
The Land and Water Conservation Fund has operated for over 50 years, and its success supported the passage of this law. The achievement also highlights that the provision of outdoor recreation and conservation resources is a priority for both political parties and this administration.
On June 17th, 2020 the US Senate passed GAOA by a wide bi-partisan margin, 73-25.
On July 22nd, 2020 the US House of Representatives passed GAOA by a wide bi-partisan margin, 301 -107.
President Donald Trump signs HR 1957, the legislative vehicle for the Great American Outdoors Act into law on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020. Credit: Screenshot, White House Live streaming coverage.
The federal Highlands program, which has conserved 8,780 acres of the highest value conservation lands in the Highlands regions of PA, NJ, NY, and CT, is poised to increase its success and yearly allocation with the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.
Perkiomen Creek area of the PA Highlands. Credit: K. Witt.
The Pennsylvania Highlands is a 1.4 million acre region that encompasses parts of 13 counties and boasts unique ecological and cultural resources that contribute to the economic and aesthetic value of the area, as well as provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoyment. To learn more, visit pahighlands.org.